February is such a fun month. Not only do I love to sing Valentine's Day songs, but I think it's a great time of year to focus on FRIENDSHIP and CARING. These two Character Education words are so important for student's emotional development. How can you use songs and games to encourage these good character traits?
SING IN A CIRCLE:
I like to have my students stand in rows for attendance and teaching at the smart board. But I always move to a circle for singing and games. I believe that when the children can see each other and sing to each other that this helps them build confidence in a group and is a visual reminder that they have an equal place in their class.
I use SIT SPOTS for my color dots. They are very "sticky" and don't come off easily. I have no affiliation with the company-but really like them.
In the music room we play games and dance and sing. These are activities that build a sense of community and cooperation in a class. I can always tell the classes who play games and do activities together because they include everyone and know how to take turns. They also know that there isn't time in each class for everyone to take a turn. These are life lessons that help students cope with things in and out of the classroom. Games provide an opportunity for you as a teacher to help students internalize these concepts. You can use some chants or phrases to help students get the big picture. "You get what you get, and you don't get upset". "It's okay if I don't get a turn today." Or, "Today I don't get a turn, but there's still plenty to learn." When getting a drink, "1-2-3 That's enough for me!" How about manners? "Excuse me" "Thank you," and "Sorry". For taking turns you can use Rock-paper-scissors. And then there's just plain old remember these rules; Be a Good Listener, Raise your hand to speak These are good words to teach to students to help them navigate their way through group activities.
I made up some posters to reflect these sayings. They are going to be available in my store for FREE for a short time. CLASSROOM MANNERS AND RULES POSTERS
Sincere compliments go a long way in building trust and relationships. I know that many classroom teachers have some great ways to implement more kindness in the classroom. When I put together the song "Words on the Candy", I didn't realize that it would turn into a fun activity too. The song has some sample ideas of phrases that are on Valentine's Day candy, like "you are sweet". After we learn the song, I have the students make up something nice about someone in the class. They fill in the blank "You are ____________" It doesn't have to rhyme with anything. I just have them pair up or in groups of three and share their compliments. They love doing this. So I came up with the idea to have them put them on paper and then create a short melodic phrase. You can get this VALENTINE CARD COMPOSITION ACTIVITY FREEBIE
I created this VALENTINE'S DAY WRITING ACTIVITY for Classroom teachers-but you could use it in the music room too.FREE VALENTINE WRITING ACTIVITY
VALENTINE SONGS AND LESSONS
For some fun Valentine's Day Music Class Activities and Games check out:
I also wrote some Character Education songs that you can use throughout the year to help students learn about kindness, caring, friendship, trust and respect. You can find them HERE.
Playing games and singing songs is a wonderful way to encourage these character traits to blossom. I hope you enjoy helping your students to gain a greater understanding of kindness through the month of February.